Login for full access to ABQJournal.com

New Users: Subscribe here


How your congressional delegates voted


Contact your legislators at the U.S. Capitol

Zip codes: House 20515, Senate 20510

Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121


Ben Ray Luján (D)

Steve Pearce (R)

Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)

USE OF FORCE IN IRAQ: Voting 370 for and 40 against, the House on July 25 approved a measure (H Con Res 105) to prevent President Obama from deploying U.S. forces to a “sustained combat role” in Iraq without specific congressional approval.

At present, hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq in a non-combat role.

A yes vote was to exert congressional control over U.S. combat deployments to Iraq.


CHILD TAX CREDIT, NATIONAL DEBT: Voting 237 for and 173 against, the House on July 25 passed a bill (HR 4935) that would increase income thresholds for receiving the child tax credit while indexing those thresholds and the credit itself for inflation starting in 2015. The credit now stands at $1,000 for each child 16 and younger.

The bill would add $114.9 billion to the national debt over 11 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

In addition, it would effectively deny the child tax credit to families where the children but not their undocumented parents are U.S. citizens.

Under the bill, the threshold at which the credit begins to phase out would be raised from $110,000 to $150,000 for married couples filing jointly and from $55,000 to $75,000 for married persons filing separately, while remaining at $75,000 for single filers. Those levels would rise with inflation.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it is likely to die.


HIGHER-EDUCATION TAX CREDITS, NATIONAL DEBT: By a vote 227 for and 187 against, the House on July 24 passed a Republican-drafted bill (HR 3393) to change and permanently extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), which helps families and student offset a small portion of the cost of four years of higher education.

The bill, which is projected to add $96.5 billion to the national debt over 11 years, drew Democratic criticism over changes such as its repeal of the Lifetime Learning tax credit and scaling back of the Hope Scholarship credit for post-secondary education.

In other provisions, the bill Increases the refundable portion of the AOTC while allowing a 100 percent AOTC credit for the first $2,000 of certain undergraduate expenses, including tuition, followed by a 25 percent credit for the next $2,000 of expenses.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it is expected to stall.


CORPORATION FOR TRAVEL PROMOTION: Voting 347 for and 57 against, the House on July 22 passed a bill (HR 4450) that would renew the Corporation for Travel Promotion through fiscal 2020.

Also known as Brand USA, this non-profit federal corporation places overseas advertising to attract visitors to America, among other promotional activities. Its annual budget is supplied by up to $100 million in contributions from the U.S. hospitality industry and a matching sum in fees collected by the Department of Homeland Security for granting visa waivers to foreign travelers.

Because the corporation generates more tax revenue than it costs the Treasury, the bill is projected to reduce annual deficits by $231 million over 10 years.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it is likely to advance.


NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY PROGRAM: Voting 260 for and 143 against, the House on July 22 failed to reach a two-thirds majority required to pass a bill (HR 1022) aimed at reducing America’s reliance on China as a supplier of elements crucial to the development of civilian and military energy technologies.

The bill would establish a Department of Energy program to oversee the mining, use and recycling of “energy-critical” elements, including rare-earth elements.

The program would perform a mission largely shunned by the U.S. private sector as unprofitable. China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare-earth elements.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.



Martin Heinrich (D)

Tom Udall (D)

REPATRIATION OF U.S. COMPANIES, JOBS: The Senate on July 23 voted, 93 for and seven against, to start debate on a bill (S 2569) that would grant corporations tax credits of up to 20 percent against the cost of returning any of their operations to the United States.

To qualify, a company would have to expand its full-time U.S. workforce as part of the relocation. The bill also would deny businesses a tax deduction for the cost of moving operations offshore. The bill would add $214 million to the national debt over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

A yes vote was to start debate on the bill.



Note: Readers can use their Facebook identity for online comments or can use Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL accounts via the "Comment using" pulldown menu. You may send a news tip or an anonymous comment directly to the reporter, click here.

Read previous post:
896 gay marriage licenses issued

LAS CRUCES – A southern New Mexico county clerk says he has issued nearly 900 marriage licenses to same-sex couples...